My personal BEST Laksa in Shanghai @ Molokai, Xin Tian Di

23rd March 2014 / Shanghai

2017 Update: Standards have dropped at this place, I do not recommend their laksa anymore.

Molokai @ Xin Tian Di has been a favourite haunt since I discovered it last year. Actually, I have walked past the restaurant countless times when I went to Xin Tian Di for movies, but never tried them out until last year, and oh how I regretted being so late to the game.

laksa1

Molokai markets itself as a hongkong tea restaurant (茶餐厅), but in actual fact, is more of a comfort food restaurant, serving various favourites from around the world that would sooth the home-sick soul. The vibe is very casual and laid back. I would even consider it the Xin Tian Di canteen, but in a positive manner. One can simply walk in, lose all pretense and enjoy a good hearty bowl of noodles made from high quality ingredients.

Their Singaporean dishes are surprisingly authentic; Both the hainanese chicken rice and laksa has consistently scored major points from me, and this was after many visits.

Today’s review will only be on their laksa and a fried wonton side dish; The wife and I popped by for a late dinner at 8:30pm and both of us ordered the laksa.

laksa

The food at Molokai as I had said, has been incredibly consistent. The most important element of the laksa is the soup. It has to be strongly spiced and be bursting with umami from dried shrimps and coconut milk. The laksa at Molokai certainly hit all the right spots. Beautiful soup, rich, full of spice but not overly spicy on the tongue (chilli). I was immediately transported back into sitting at a coffee shop in Singapore.

The ingredients are spot on too. Fish cake is thick and fragrant with smooth flesh. Half a ramen egg was included which is nice. 3 medium sized de-shelled prawns have a nice crunch and tasted fresh. Tofu puffs while small, did a good job soaking up the soup and burst in your mouth. The thick vermicelli noodles were cooked perfectly; I wouldn’t say al dente because these aren’t suitable for al dente (with a bite), but more towards soft with a little resistance. This is by far the best and most accessible (for me) Laksa in Shanghai for me. The next strongest contender would be the Laksa at Orchard CRC, but it is a little out of the way for me. Toast box’s laksa has officially gone to shit when they started adding cucumbers and shredded cabbage on their laksa.

The only thing that I think could improve for Molokai’s laksa would be to remove that piece of coriander they use as garnish, and replace it with some freshly shredded ‘laksa-leaves’, which surprisingly can be found at City Shop!

wontons

To make the meal more interesting, I also ordered the fried wontons. They were 8 very large wontons, each containing 2-3 prawns with minced pork. The wonton fillings are very authentic as per Hong Kong standards (I’m half hongkie), with the correct type and amount of seasoning. Quite good value at ¥38.

wonton-closeup

Overall the prices are above average at Molokai, but that’s a given, being located in Xin Tian Di. The quality of the food makes up for all of it. Other notable favourites that have been tried and tested are the Hainanese Chicken Rice, Beef brisket curry, pork chop noodles, just to name a few. Their pork chop baked rice wasn’t very good though, so you can give that a pass.

All in all, this is a place that I visit every other week. It has already become a staple in our dining out options or when I’m simply looking for a quick fix. Give it a try and let me know how you liked it!

 

TSK Rating

8
Food
9
Service
9
Venue
6

Author: Fred Lin

Fred "The Shanghai Kid" Lin was born in Singapore, and grew up in a family of foodies and home-cooks. He moved to Shanghai in 2007 and fell in love with the city, eventually carving a self-made career out of digital media design and development. He founded The Shanghai Kid food blog in 2013, and opened an award-winning Singaporean restaurant in 2014, which won CityWeekend's Outstanding Southeast Asian restaurant of the year in 2016. In 2017, he decided to reboot, and shut down all his businesses in Shanghai before moving back to Singapore with his wife. Fred plans to immigrate to Melbourne in the near future.

Molokai

Address
Xintiandi South Plaza, Bldg 6, 123 Xingye Lu, near Huangpi Nan Lu, Huangpu district

Cuisine
AsianCantoneseChineseSingaporean

City
Shanghai

Area
Huang Pu / Luwan

Landmarks
Xin Tian Di

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